10 May ’14
The debate on genetically modified foods is an ongoing and controversial one. Let me ask you a question; when you are shopping for fruit at a grocery store, do you go for the tiny, shriveled looking strawberry? Or the large, juicy one? If your answer was, the large, juicy one, then you are supporting genetically modified foods without realizing it.
Genetically modified foods are foods obtained from crop plants that have had changes introduced into their DNA through genetic engineering. The plants are modified to enhance certain desirable traits such as improved nutritional content and increased resistance to herbicides. Unlike conventional plant breeding methods, genetic engineering guarantees both rapid and accurate results every time. With the continuously growing world population, genetically modified plants are taking the spotlight as the answer for meeting this need. They are advantageous due to their herbicide tolerance, cold tolerance, drought tolerance, and their ability to resist pesticides and plant diseases.
However, like all great things, genetically modified foods also have their downsides. A few criticisms against genetically modified foods include the unintended harm that they cause other organisms and the fear of the unexpected and negative effects that they may cause to human health. So, the next time you pick up a corncob or one of those large, juicy strawberries mentioned above consider both the beneficial and detrimental effects of GM foods and pick your side of the argument.